Everybody likes to imagine their company’s logo 100 feet wide.
On a billboard.
But most of the people who see your logo design aren’t going to see it at nearly that scale—in some cases, it may be less than half an inch in size. And it still has to look good.
When you’re testing out different logo designs, keep the following things in mind to ensure that it looks good on everything from interstellar highway signs to smartphone screens.
Keep It Simple
When your logo design is blown up, it can be tempting to add details and embellishments. Those teeny-tiny touches don’t translate to smaller screens, though—if they don’t disappear altogether, they’ll just look like little blotches and imperfections. Take a cue from the iPhone’s iOS 7 design, and embrace a little simplicity.
Relate to the Bigger Picture (Literally)
A mobile logo can be the key to looking good on a small screen—just look at the app icons on your phone or tablet. The trick to designing an effective app logo (or a logo for a mobile site) is to make sure that it’s related to your full-size version.
Pandora, Facebook and LinkedIn all have mobile logos that are truncated versions of their usual logos. This kind of graphic design consistency is key to helping users subconsciously connect the dots.
Clean Up Your Colors
Color is critical to a logo design of any size, and many of the typical rules apply just as much—if not more—to small logos. Keep it clean, without gradients or other splashy effects. Also determine acceptable variations, like a single-color version and a grayscale logo. These come in handy when you’re printing things like ads, business cards and letterheads.
Leave Out the Loopy-Doopy Fonts
Fancy fonts can look great on a large scale—curvy embellishments, serif flourishes and other little touches don’t translate well to smaller displays, though. Whether you’re choosing an existing typeface or having a graphic designer create one for you, make sure it isn’t too intricate to remain legible when it shrinks down.
Of course, these aren’t the only things to consider when designing a logo that looks as good small as it does large—all the more reason that you should entrust the job to graphic design professionals, instead of your own MS Paint skills.